Museum of Brisbane

Brisbane Now and Then

Brisbane Now and Then

Travel back to a time when horse drawn trams traversed Brisbane streets and children bathed in the Brisbane River. This popular program provides opportunities for students to develop historical understanding through key concepts including: sources, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy and significance.

Discover the history and importance of the heritage-listed City Hall on a tour of the ‘People’s Place’. Compare objects and photographs from the past and present in our object handling workshop, and gain an understanding of how toys, transport and technology have changed over time.

Explore the importance of Country/place for Aboriginal peoples and how life has changed from the time of European settlement to the present day on a tour of our current social history exhibition.

For bookings, please complete our MoB Learn booking form and email to our MoB Learn team at

Year levels 2 – 6
Group size 20 – 60 students
Duration 10am – 2pm
Program type Excursion
Incursion (Object Handling workshop only)
Hands-on workshop and tour/s
Curriculum links History, Humanities and Social Sciences, English, Science
Cost See Brisbane Now and Then PDF

Program activities

During your visit to Museum of Brisbane your class will be split into groups to participate in all activities.

City Hall and Clock Tower tour

This experience includes a tour of City Hall, affectionately known as the Peoples Place. Students will explore one of Brisbane’s most significant and well-recognised sites and delve into its varied and unique history. They will learn about City Hall’s many uses over the years and about specific features within the building, which reference historic architecture from around the world.

Students may also be able to take a trip up City Hall’s Clock Tower and learn about a time when City Hall was the tallest building in Brisbane and compare and contrast our ever-changing skyline with original pictures from the 1950’s.

Object-handling workshop

Students will also participate in an Object Handling Workshop where they explore objects of the past from Brisbane. These objects help to contextualize life in Brisbane in 1800’s and 1900’s where students can reflect and on life using authentic objects to explore key themes of identity and relationships. Students will handle the objects, discuss their uses and make conclusions about how daily life may have been years ago. They will be encouraged to think about the objects’ use and who may have used this particular object as well as why the items may have been replaced, and how this links with the technological world we live in?